Violence often occurs when Kenyan Premier League heavyweights meet and the former Ingwe Organising Secretary blames the incompetence of officials
Former AFC Leopards Organising Secretary Timothy Lilumbi has blamed unfair refereeing for hooliganism which has been witnessed during the Mashemeji Derbies.
AFC Leopards will host Gor Mahia for the final Mashemeji Derby clash this season and Lilumbi urges the match officials to adhere to principles of fairness in order to avoid triggering violence amongst fans.
“The only thing I hope should be done which is a small thing and many people do not see is fair refereeing. The appointing authority should assign referees who are known to be unbiased and are very competent.,” Lilumbi told Goal.
“Referees should show diligence, fairness and this will help the game to be entertaining to the masses who will surely attend.
“Let everyone who comes enjoy the game and fair officiating.”
Both Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards have been punished before by the Sports Stadia Management Board for the destruction of property by their supporters and Lilumbi squarely blames referees and not fans.
“Hooliganism which has always been part of Gor Mahia vs AFC Leopards in many occasions always emanates from poor officiating and nothing else,” explained Lilumbi.
“If officiating is fair and, in a way, perfect hooliganism will not be witnessed in this derby, I can assure you that.
“People always blame hooliganism for denting the image of the biggest KPL fixture but are never willing to investigate and find a reason as to why it happens. If the match officials are competent and are not biased there will never much complain.
“Let a team win in a very fair manner but when it is deemed the victory has been achieved with the help of matchday officials it becomes an issue.
“So many people do not want to talk about the real cause of hooliganism and violence. Fair refereeing will reduce tension and violence by almost 70%.”
Lilumbi also explained why the goalkeeping and defence departments will play key roles during the clash at Kasarani.
“Our goalkeeper [Benjamin Ochan] is leading with the number of clean sheets and on the other hand, Gor Mahia defence has been leaking goals. The backline of both teams will play critical roles in the match,” he added.
Lilumbi stated the difference in experience between Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards may not count match during the only KPL tie on Sunday.
“AFC Leopards are currently playing some good football but using young players like [Austin] Odhiambo, [Collins] Shichenje and [Hansel] Ochieng. Those are very young players, unlike Gor Mahia who have experienced players,” he concluded.
“We have been playing well and winning even when we do not have money and that is not a secret at all. Experienced or not that is not very important.
“With all these statistics we just want a fair referee so whoever carries the day does it in a very fair manner.”